Here are 7 new science museums and exhibitions to visit in 2023

A photo of a giant, 3,200-year-old statue of King Ramses II inside the Grand Egyptian Museum with constructions workers milling about.

Visitors to the Grand Egyptian Museum will be greeted by a giant, 3,200-year-old statue of King Ramses II (shown here in 2019 during the museum’s construction).


If you’re a museum aficionado itching for a new place to explore, 2023 has you covered. New science museums and exhibitions are opening, and some zoos are expanding. This sampling of destinations to check out in the new year or beyond has something for everyone, whether you’re a wildlife lover, space nerd or history buff.

Grand Egyptian Museum
Outside Cairo
Opens: To be announced

2022 marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb (SN: 11/19/22, p. 14). Now, thousands of artifacts from the tomb — along with tens of thousands of other archaeological finds from ancient Egypt — will go on display when this museum, located within view of the Pyramids of Giza, opens. More than a decade in the making, it will be one of the largest archaeological museums in the world.

Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation
American Museum of Natural History
New York City
Opens: February 17

This multistory building will add tons of new exhibit space to the more than 150-year-old museum. Visitors can explore an insectarium that includes one of the world’s largest displays of live leaf-cutting ants and come face-to-face with dozens of butterfly species in a vivarium. Meanwhile, the interconnectedness of life will be on display in the immersive, 360-degree “Invisible Worlds” exhibition.

Part of the "Invisible Worlds" exhibit, a giant room with a black and white grid pattern interspaced with turquoise circles and magenta horizontal lines.
Technicians project test patterns at “Invisible Worlds,” an immersive experience about the interconnectedness of life, at the Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation at the American Museum of Natural History.Timothy Schenck/© AMNH

Galápagos Islands
Houston Zoo
Opens: April 2023

If you can’t travel to the Galápagos Islands, a trip to Texas might be the next best thing. Giant tortoises, iguanas, penguins, sea lions, sharks and other creatures will inhabit this new exhibition that will re-create the land and marine ecosystems of the archipelago made famous by Charles Darwin.

An artist rendering of several giant tortoises in a field and small body of water while zoo guests look on.
At the Houston Zoo’s upcoming Galápagos Islands exhibit, visitors will come face-to-face with giant tortoises (shown in an artistic rendering).Houston Zoo

Kansas City Zoo Aquarium
Opens: September 2023

The 34 exhibits of this new aquarium will allow visitors to glimpse a wide variety of ocean locales without having to leave the Midwest. Underwater residents will include sea urchins and sea anemones in a warm intertidal zone, fish swimming in a coral reef, comb jellies floating in the open ocean and sea otters playing along a rocky shore.

An artist rendering of the exterior of the new Kansas City Zoo's aquarium with people walking around outside.
Inside the Kansas City Zoo’s new aquarium (shown in this artistic rendering), people can meet the denizens of different marine ecosystems.Kansas City Zoo

Franklin Institute
Opens: Fall 2023

To design this new two-story gallery dedicated to the future of space exploration, exhibit planners met with local students and teachers to find out what they wanted to learn. The result is an experience that, among other things, will showcase the current and future technologies needed to live and work in space as well as the many career paths into the aerospace industry.

An artistic rendering of a futuristic space ship with guests interacting with space items.
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia will open a new exhibition about space travel and exploration in September (shown in an artistic rendering).Franklin Institute

Bird House
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Washington, D.C.
Opens: To be announced

With a focus on bird migration and conservation in the Americas, the zoo’s new bird house will feature three aviaries: The first will show how the Delaware Bay is a key refueling spot for migratory shorebirds, the second will demonstrate how seasonal wetlands in the Midwest serve waterfowl and the third will illustrate how a tropical coffee farm can provide respite for songbirds in winter.

An artists rendering of the new bird house at the Smithsonian's Nation Zoo with trees and bushes, and birds flying around.
The new bird house at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will feature three aviaries, including one that re-creates the habitat of a tropical coffee farm (shown in an artistic rendering).Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Robot & AI Museum
Seoul, South Korea
Opens: To be announced

Though details are still scant, this museum dedicated to furthering public knowledge of robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning is expected to open later this year.

Erin Wayman is the managing editor for print and longform content at Science News. She has a master’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of California, Davis and a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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